The Provincial Election is taking place on June 7. The PEC Chamber has been engaging with Bay of Quinte candidate’s and are holding an All Candidate’s Meeting on May 30. Below you will find the format of the event, this is to ensure as many topics as possible can be covered efficiently and fairly between all candidates. You will also find the Chamber’s platform, which was created, in part, by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s Ontario Election Platform – “Vote Prosperity”.
PEC Chamber PG&A Committee Prov Election Platform
Strengthen Business Competitiveness
Recognizing the reductions so far, making Hydro more cost effective to businesses and households.
Cost of doing business in the Bay of Quinte (PEC) / Ontario. How do we make Ontario more economically competitive to keep businesses here and attract new businesses?
Keeping corporate tax rates competitive with other jurisdictions. (Wynne’s government previously lowered the province’s small business rate in January by 22 per cent in the face of minimum wage hikes. The combined federal-Ontario general corporate tax rate is still 26.5 per cent, the new budget noted, making it the lowest in Canada after the previous Liberal regime cut Ontario’s general corporate rate.)
Foster Job Creation
Bill 148 – Changes to legislation which will have a cost/financial implication on business – Giving a year at least to be able to budget for changes.
Basic income rather than minimum wage – so it’s fair to workers and business. Pilot moving into its third year, results appear positive through improved health, reducing homelessness and making it through the month with enough groceries.
Apprenticeship – terrible, College of Trade re-structure already a crisis (job-poaching already occurring).
The opinion of an electrical contractor in Toronto: “It’s all messed up”
“It takes 9,000 hours for a Canadian apprentice to be able to write the electrical licensing exam,” Taylor explained. “The politicians say, ‘Get more kids into trades.’ So kids are coming straight out of high school; they come here, and we train them at the first level.” There are three levels of schooling as part of the apprenticeship program: basic, intermediate and advanced. According to Taylor, it can take a year or even longer to get into the first block of classes. Students are required to both work in the industry and leave their jobs to attend classes for eight to 10 weeks at each stage. “Sometimes they’ll get all three blocks back to back to back. Or they might get one block after three years of employment and won’t get the last block of school until after five or six years. It’s all messed up. There’s no rhyme or reason; they’re just a number. There’s no timeline.”
Offer a selection of locally required as well as nationally or globally required college / university courses. Offering only locally required courses limits the number of students who attend college if they only offer what happens locally – however, it reduces options for placements in local businesses (need a way around that). In order to keep Ontario / Canada competitive, students need to learn specialized skills which may not be required locally.
Ability to change curriculum / courses more quickly to be able to react more effectively to labour shortages and new industry / technology
Keeping the Canada Ontario Job Grant – targeted training subsidies (2020). Push for continuation of federal funding. Or ensuring employers with less than 50 staff can still access it.
Seasonal work – ways to keep these workers employed through the winter season. Subsidized marketing to encourage businesses to stay open through the winter?
Building Healthy Communities
Public transit in the County – what’s your plan?
Affordable housing – what’s your plan?
Infrastructure – the province’s infrastructure is aging, what’s your plan?
PECMH – Keep the new hospital project moving, how high a priority is it for you?
“Food insecurity” /Poverty – how can we make fresh, healthy food available to everyone? Education, availability of options, etc.
Supply chain processes / procurement methods within the Ontario Health Care
Improve Government Accountability
Plans for what to do with the deficit.
DEBT?! What’s the strategy for reducing Ontario’s debt?
Economic Analysis before making legislative changes. Accessible feasibility studies which are peer reviewed. Thus, justifying decisions made by the government
All Candidate’s Meeting Format
The lobby will be open at 6pm for beverages and snacks which can be purchased at the Canteen. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6:30pm
This All Candidate’s Debate is sponsored by the Prince Edward Federation of Agriculture and the Prince Edward County Chamber of Commerce. The Regent Theatre has kindly provided the venue and audio-visual services for this event.
Each candidate will be given 2 minutes for an opening statement. The order of this exercise will be determined by a random draw conducted when all the candidates have arrived. Candidates will be seated in the order that has been drawn.
The question period will be moderated, and a time-keeper will ensure all questions and answers are completed within the allocated time given. The time-keeper will raise their hand when 10 seconds of the allocated time remain and stand when the time is up. During a candidate’s answer, the time-keeper will raise their hand when they have 30 seconds left of the allocated time. When the full allocated time is up, the time-keeper will stand. Once the time-keeper has stood, the moderator may stop the speaker from continuing.
To begin the Q&A portion of the meeting, several pre-prepared questions will be asked from the floor from both the Federation of Agriculture and Chamber of Commerce.
Following this, there will be an open public forum question period conducted by the moderator. The public will have up to 1 minute to ask their question. Due to the number of candidates and in order to ensure that every candidate has an equal opportunity to speak, each candidate shall answer a question presented by the public, maintaining the order used for the opening remarks. Each candidate will be given up to 2 minutes for their response. If a question is directed to a specific candidate, the remaining candidates will answer immediately after in the order they are sitting. Questions not directed towards a specific candidate will begin with the candidate who drew first, the next question will be answered by the second person in order, etc.
The moderator will attempt to ensure all candidates have an equal opportunity to reply to any question. The moderator also has the right to limit questions regarding topics they feel have been adequately covered, in order to ensure the widest variety of topics may be covered during the event.
At approximately 8:30pm, each candidate will be given 2 minutes for closing remarks. The order will be the reverse of the opening remarks that were determined by a random draw.
The moderator will close the event.
*For those who are hearing impaired, there are a limited number of assisted listening devices.
*For those who are physically unable to access the microphones positioned in the aisles, please raise your hand and a remote microphone will be brought to you.